Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that ‘without music, life would be a mistake’, and I am entirely in agreement with him. As a second year Music student at Murray Edwards, and President of the Music Society, I am heavily involved within the musical life of the college, and of the university as a whole. I recently went on tour with the Cambridge University Musical Society Symphony Orchestra and I had the BEST time. There is something wonderful about playing glorious music with lots of people who also love to play glorious music!
Murray Edwards is a hive of musical talent, as demonstrated in our various activities and concerts. In the past year our most notable successes have been Women in Song, the Music Scholarship Competition, and Orchestra on the Hill.
As part of the Murray Edwards’ 60th anniversary celebrations, former student Amy Johnson and choir director Sophie Ip put on a concert featuring the music of inspirational female composers and performers through the ages, ranging from Hildegard von Bingen to Lady Gaga. The performance featured over thirty talented women, including solo singers, instrumentalists, band members and dancers. It is this sort of event which really emphasises the importance and worth of a women’s college.
The annual Music Scholarship Competition is an opportunity for any musician at Murray Edwards to showcase their talent and be considered for one of two scholarship awards of £400, which is to be put towards instrumental/vocal tuition. As the fortunate recipient of one of these scholarships, I can say firsthand that this money has been extremely helpful. As any musician will know, music lessons can be very expensive, especially if you are at a high level. This scholarship has enabled me to have lessons with incredible teachers whose fees I otherwise may not have been able to afford. The competition evening is also thoroughly enjoyable, with a panel of three friendly judges, and a supportive audience. At Cambridge it is so easy to get buried in work and to stop performing altogether, and this competition is a lovely way to prevent this from happening.
My name is Husna-Tara (Nanda) Prakash and I spent 3 wonderful years at Murray Edward College in the early nineties. I studied Natural Sciences, initially thinking I would specialize in Zoology and Botany but ending up with Pharmacology as my Part II subject, with a sudden interest in pursuing Medicine as a Graduate. However a visit back to Cambridge and a career-changing interview with a very inspiring teacher led me back there to complete a one-year PGCE Teaching Degree in Biology.
I grew up between the UK and India, and I moved back to India when I was 25 to marry Anshuman – a fourth generation tea planter based in Calcutta. We met during my gap year when I was backpacking around the world. Soon after we got married, a 2-year sojourn on a South Indian Tea Estate had us dreaming up the idea of a project in Tea Tourism, where people could learn about the incredible process and the vibrant community behind a “cup of tea”.
The Glenburn Tea Estate Boutique Hotel was conceived 12 years ago, high up in the tea growing region of Darjeeling in the Indian Himalayas, overlooking Mount Kanchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world. Conde Naste traveller calls it “A little piece of heaven….and almost as remote!”. We have had visitors from all round the world, and accolades from the press and many of our guests. We started off with only 4 rooms, and added another bungalow when we realized how much people were loving what we had created, and I soon found myself immersed neck-deep in the luxury travel industry. We call it “experiential travel” and every year we see how a travel “experience” can change people’s lives. …continue reading…
At 17 I was successful in my application to study at Cambridge more by good luck than good management. Despite very supportive parents and some great teachers, I had no idea what to expect in a Cambridge interview, I hadn’t heard of the Supplementary Admissions Questionnaire until I received an email telling me I had one week to complete it, and I didn’t realise that the ‘winter pool’ was not something that required a swimming costume.
Almost 5 years later, my day job is ensuring that as many high achieving students as possible, no matter what their background, feel able to apply to Cambridge and know what that process involves. And for high achieving female students I do my best to show them why Murray Edwards can offer a University experience that I believe is very special.
Over the last academic year we’ve worked with 2,348 students, 173 teachers, and 161 schools; giving talks, tours and running sessions on subjects from A-Level choices to Oxbridge interviews. Whilst many events take place in Murray Edwards itself, I also travel to visit schools. Whether at residential events, as part of day trips or at Higher Education fairs, I have met some incredibly talented and interesting students. …continue reading…
Counting down the days and waiting for the 4th of October in anticipation of Cambridge life means that being a ‘fresher-in-waiting’ is tense work! Now that results day has been and gone, Cambridge becoming a reality rather than a distant possibility, the preparation can really begin.
The fear of preparing too early was addressed in a previous blog post entitled ‘Waiting and Hoping’, where the feeling of being “worried to get excited about September just in case the ‘what-if’ happens” certainly rang true for myself. Fortunately all the hard work paid off and in October, along with many from all corners of the country, I’ll be joining Murray Edwards College to read music, the prospect of which both excites and scares me in equal measure!
Preparing for such a big change is a difficult task and moving to a new city, making a new group of friends and tackling the academic challenges that lie ahead is a daunting prospect. However, having visited Murray Edwards in March and having seen how great college life is, it is a prospect I am thoroughly looking forward to. Even after more than two weeks to get used to the idea, it still feels surreal to be joining Freshers’ groups, the college Music Society Committee and writing this blog! …continue reading…